Legal Briefs (long)

From the Desk of the General Counsel

Join Us For Our Annual Golf Scramble

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Great Fun for a Great Cause at the annual ILAS Golf Scramble

I want to personally invite you and members of your agency or firm to participate in our upcoming annual Golf Scramble on June 7 at Old Oakland Golf Club. We are currently putting together foursomes and hole sponsors for this fun event. Participants in past years have included members of insurance companies, law firms, banks, and civic leaders. Proceeds from the event go directly to support our work with those who need legal guidance and assistance but cannot afford it.

In the event that you have any questions about our outing or our organization, please feel free to contact Jackie at 635-9538.

Thank You Holiday Campaign Donors!

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A sincere and heartfelt thank you goes out to everyone who gave so generously to our 2006 Holiday Campaign. Because of your generosity, the Indianapolis Legal Aid Society will be able to assist many more Central Indiana Hoosiers with family law, landlord-tenant, and other civil law issues during the upcoming months. The generosity of the legal community in the Indianapolis metropolitan area is most appreciated.

New Staff and Attorney Volunteers

Please welcome the following new Staff members and attorney volunteers:

Linda Burcham—Receptionist

Chris Weber—Attorney, Senior Project

Anna Phillips and Laurie Goggins– Volunteer Attorneys

Bankruptcy Law

Not for the Faint of Heart

By Virgene Cline, Staff Attorney

Despite the desires of Congress when it passed the Bankruptcy Reform Act of 2005, Americans still needed to file Bankruptcies. Proof positive of that fact is the growing number of clients who come to Indianapolis Legal Aid Society for Bankruptcy assistance. Nearly 10% of those seeking help from Legal Aid have been in regarding debt problems or Bankruptcy. Of those who sought help, fortunately we have referred them to our Legal Aid Referral Panel for assistance. Even then, the clients have a tough road ahead.

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Image curteousy of David Playford

The cost of filing a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is tremendous. Not just in filing fees, which have risen to $299, but the law now requires filers to obtain credit counseling—pre-filing and pre-discharge– at a cost of between $50—$100. Private attorneys charge fees ranging from $750—$2500 to file. This makes Chapter 7 “unaffordable” for our clients.

Furthermore, bankruptcies have become cost prohibitive for many Legal Aid providers as well. Legal providers need specialized bankruptcy software priced at $1500 or more per year. Special equipment such as scanners are an absolute necessity. Storage of original documentation including all bills, credit reports, tax filings, etc. can become burdensome.

The Indianapolis Legal Aid Society is working to find ways to make bankruptcy “affordable” to the working poor of Central Indiana. In depth discussions about non-legal options and bankruptcy alternatives are routine when clients ask for bankruptcy advice. Additionally, with the help of local private practitioners on our referral panel, clients may be able to file bankruptcy for half the cost generally charged by the area bankruptcy bar.

We especially thank Mark Zuckerburg, Steve Halbert, John Henry and Lou Ann Marocco, our referral panel attorneys, for helping our clients “survive” the current economic climate in Indiana.

Bankruptcy, even under the Reform Act is “alive and well” and likely will pick up steam in the coming years. Between rising foreclosure rates in Central Indiana and lack of medical insurance for the poor, many will need our help to gain control over the tight grip of debt. Indianapolis Legal Aid Society will be here to lend an ear and guide those who need debt relief and credit counseling.

News/Notes

ILAS Golf ScrambleJune 7, 2007Old Oakland Golf Club1:00Pm Shotgun StartCost: $500 per Foursomeor $125 Individual

For more information, call Jackie at 317-635-9538.

 

 

 

 

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The Indianapolis Legal Aid Society welcomes you to consider volunteering your time and talents to help needy Central Indiana Hoosiers with their legal needs. If you can help, please call John at 317-635-9538

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